“I believe I hit something slightly submerged floating down the river. I sustained a complete spinal cord injury at the T6 level which means I’m a paraplegic with no feeling or function below nipple level, “ the 31 year old states this almost mechanically, as I start to get a sense that she is one determined and positive Canadian.
As I dig deeper though, I discover the all too common barriers that Tanelle came up against and the frustrations that led her to innovate and take action.
“Because I had a recreational accident I had no insurance coverage so even though there is a public system in Canada there is really no support for somebody that’s too able, especially not for getting back in the outdoors.
There are organizations in Canada that offer things but it’s not equipment grants or used equipment, it’s hockey tickets. Well I I’m not a hockey player. I’ve never been keen to sit in a cold arena for three and a half hours to drink draft beer.
The $300 of hockey tickets got me nowhere. But I would love $300 towards a freewheel to go to the beach or a beach mat which makes it accessible at the beach,” she explains.